Eggplant Omelet
Filipino Appetizers Philippines Rice/Noodles/Pasta Starters and Drinks Vegetables

Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelet)

What is tortang talong

Tortang talong, or eggplant omelet, is a Filipino dish that has between 2-4 ingredients!  From that statement, you can tell that this is an easy dish. Well, I would not deny that prepping the eggplants would take time, but all in all, I categorize this as an easy recipe. Worry not, as you read along, you would know that you can opt for the faster way. Let me say it here: the choice between grilling or boiling the eggplants at the beginning of cooking.

Tortang talong has a version with 2 ingredients – eggplants and eggs; another version with onions, and the last one with those 3 ingredients plus ground meat.

Origin of tortang talong

There is no known origin for tortang talong. So I would like to think that it is from the Philippines itself, and it must have come from the creativity of the Filipinos in coming up with recipes from whatever is available in their pantry. Oh, whichever vegetables are in season.  It might also be from the fact that eggplant grows rather abundantly in Philippine soil, so recipes for it are many, torta being the most popular.

Ingredients for tortang talong

Apart from eggs and eggplant, onions and ground meat become extra which brings richness and more character to the dish. Let us look at the ingredients closely.


Fresh eggplants would be the first recommendation I can give you in cooking this dish, and there is a reason for that: the freshness of eggplants makes the torta softer rather than rubbery, so pleasing to the tastebuds. It definitely is the same case for almost all recipes that call for eggplants, but let me share with you that I have one recipe that uses older eggplants: vegetable pakora. It is a secret I did not share in the post, for some reason, but older eggplants, since almost dry, make the pakora a lot less limp.

Anyway, as for variety, Asian eggplants – the ones that are slimmer and longer by comparison to their rounded and bigger counterparts – are sweeter, so are best for torta. 


Omelet, a give-away term, denotes the use of eggs. You would need about 1-2 eggs for each eggplant; one if you are using the simpler version or two if you are adding meat and onions to the tortang talong recipe. 


Grab your yellow or white onions as they are the best choice for tortang talong; the red onion is a bit strong and has some spiciness to it that can take away or overpower the fine taste of the tortang talong.

Ground meat

Ground beef or ground pork is good for this dish. The leaner part of the beef is best as it has less oil content.

How to cook tortang talong


Prep the eggplant.

As part of the prepping stage, the eggplants are either boiled, grilled, broiled or oven-baked.  If you prefer to grill them, which is the best way to prep eggplants for torta as this results in a smoky flavor, you would want to see that they become almost black. Do not worry at this stage, because the skin is scraped off the eggplant meat. Then mashed gently using a fork, keeping the stems intact. Set aside.

Beat the eggs.

You may want to beat the eggs all at once on a deep plate or beat them separately as you cook the eggplants into omelets. Season with salt and ground black pepper while beating the eggs. Set aside.

Dice the onions finely.

Sautee the onions. Cook until golden brown. Add the meat and cook stirring until the pinkish juice has evaporated. 

Over medium heat and using the same pan, add a bit of oil, if necessary. Spread eggplant on the pan, then cover it with half the egg mixture using a tablespoon to scoop. Let the egg mixture seep into the eggplant meat. Top with the onion and meat mixture and gently spread them over the eggplant and cover with more beaten eggs.  Cook slowly making sure the omelet is done on both sides – there is no need to flip. This would take about 2-3 minutes.

Repeat with the rest of the eggplants.

How to serve tortang talong

This is the most interesting part. This can be served hot or cold; with ketchup or without; some use hot sauce; over steamed white rice or any fried rice. Tortang talong is a breakfast item but can be served at lunch or dinner. This can be eaten as an appetizer as well. Such a simple but versatile dish that is budget-friendly.


Cooking tips:

  • Add a tablespoon of water for every egg before beating them. This would prevent the eggs from being cooked too early. The result is definitely not dry!
  • Try this with shrimp paste on the side and discover the wonders of Filipino cuisine.  


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Eggplant Omelet

Tortang Talong

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 4 eggplants (long-type)
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Wash eggplants. Grill them over charcoal until done – test doneness by poking the skin with a fork. They would also look a bit splintered. Another option is to broil them in the oven at 350° for about 45 minutes.
  2. Beat eggs while adding salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Skin the grilled eggplants separately. Gently press the eggplant meat (one at a time) with a fork – just to flatten them – on a plate. Pour beaten eggs onto the beaten eggplants and leave for a minute so that the eggplant takes in the eggs. Fry gently over medium heat.
  4. Repeat with the other 3 eggplants.


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